Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 106

Posts Tagged ‘holy sites’

Protection of Holy Sites and Worship Places in Europe and the Middle East

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 novembre 2017

conferenceIn the run up to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, European churches are urging the European institutions to increase their efforts to ensure respect and protection of places of worship and holy sites, both in the EU law and in the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The forty participants of the conference emphasised that several gaps in the international legal regime, governing such sites, need to be filled, in particular a common definition and legal remedies. To buy, build, own, maintain, restore and use such religious places are part and parcel of the fundamental right to Freedom of Religion or Belief, they said.The conference explored different legal, political and cultural contexts of the theme. This included Western Europe, with its increasingly secular setting, as well as regions where religious sites have been politicized in conflict situations, such as in Kosovo (UNSCR 1244/1999), in the divided Cyprus, in Ukraine, in Syria and in the City of Jerusalem, which holds special significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.For Cyprus, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus spoke about the need of de facto protection of the churches in Cyprus. Religious monuments in the country are not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus and are often vandalized with the Turkish Cypriot side doing little to prevent that. Legal owners are also often denied access to and prevented from worshiping at their holy sites. “Using the right of access to places of worship for political ends is not conducive to dialogue,” said Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.Speaking about the Holy Land, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and all Palestine, said that over the last several months, a new level of threat has emerged to the stability of conference1Jerusalem as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society of which the diverse holy sites are concrete evidence, and that the churches have become increasingly concerned about their properties.
For Syria, Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus, talked about the great suffering his community that has lived through during the civil war. He emphasized the desire to return the country to relative harmony between different faiths that existed before the conflict.Fr Sava Janjic, Abbot of Dečani Monastery in Kosovo (UNSCR 1244/1999), demanded that “political leaders in the Balkans should demonstrate more commitment to the protection of cultural and religious heritage of vulnerable communities and make more efforts to prevent further destruction of holy sites”.The moderator of CEC Thematic Reference Group on Human Rights, Rev. Dr Göran Gunner, stated that “the destruction of a place of worship often deeply affects the identity of a religious person, who wants the site to be preserved for the present and future generations with dignity, integrity and respect.” (photos: )

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Religious Freedom in the Republic of Cyprus

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 11 aprile 2010

On Wednesday 14 April 2010 from 14:30 to 16:30 in the European Parliament (PHS building – P7C050), the representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union, in cooperation with the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches, will organise a seminar Religious Freedom and Holy Sites in the Republic of Cyprus, under the high patronage of His Excellency Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering.  The Seminar will be hosted by Dr. Eleni Theocharous MEP (EPP-ED). The plenary will be addressed by His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Cyprus and Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament. Keynote speakers: Mr. Andreas Marvoyiannis, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus; Dr. Antranik Ashdjian, Representative of the Armenian Religious Community in Cyprus; Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis, Director of the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the EU; His Beatitude Youssef Soueif, Archbishop of the Maronites in Cyprus; Rev. Rüdiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission of CEC.

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